FC Goa secured their second clean sheet of the season to come away with a vital point away from home in Kolkata this Wednesday. The Gaurs put on a gritty performance at the back to help them to a goalless draw against ATK at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan.
Sergio Lobera and his men would, however, will look at this as two points dropped. A few good saves from Arindam Bhattacharya, a few missed chances and sheer luck for the home side combined to blank Goa for the first time this season.
The Gaurs started the game with much oomph as Seriton Fernandes and Mourtada Fall came close to scoring the opener for the away side within the first 13 minutes. Both of them, however, failed to hit the mark and had to do with hitting the side netting.
The home side began to grow into the game as time wore on and would produce their first real attack of note when the clock hit the 28 minute mark. The brilliance of Mohammad Nawaz though was enough to keep ATK at bay. The teenager produced a brilliant reflex save after Everton Santos had managed to sneak in on at the near post and flicked on a ball from Jayesh Rane on the right.
The game opened up in the minutes to come in the first half as Manuel Lanzarotte and then Ferran Corominas came close to giving their respective sides the lead. With both failing in their endeavours, the game would remain goalless going into halftime.
The first big moment of the second half came in the 51st minute when Nawaz again reminded everyone why Lobera rates him so highly. The teenager from Manipur was brilliant; this time with a reflex save with his right leg after Jayesh Rane found himself in space again on the right hand side of the penalty box.
The Gaurs saw a spark injected into their game with the introduction of Manvir Singh. The lad from Punjab tested the keeper twice before a shot from his right boot struck the hands of Andre Bikey in the penalty box on its way to the goal. All protests from FC Goa players were waved off by the referee.
The game ebbed and flowed from there on. With either side failing to create any gilt-edged opportunity; it meandered to an end as both sides failed to find the back of the net.
Goa now move into second place, having garnered 17 points from their 9 games.
A trip away to FC Pune City awaits the Gaurs on 11 December where they will look to get back to winning ways.